There is an increasing trend in the relatively new area of sustainable building design. It provides advantages both in short and long-term horizons and in fact, country policies have been orienting themselves to design sustainable buildings. The advantages are numerous and green buildings are considered as the key to achieving global goals, such as dealing with climate change.
The benefits of sustainable buildings can be grouped into 3 categories: environmental, economic, and social.
- Globally, buildings are responsible for 40% of final energy consumption and 36% of carbon emission every year, however, it is possible to minimize this use by designing green buildings that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout their lifecycle.
- Around 30% of the energy used by buildings is wasted every year through heat loss and cooling. A green building with an appropriate design reduces this energy waste to almost 0% by means of natural heating and cooling and prevents global temperature increases for future generations.
- Green buildings can reduce water consumption by 40% every year.
- Green buildings reduce waste and pollution in their construction and demolition and use renewable energy and local resources instead of fuel.
- According to the lifecycle planning and financial calculations, green buildings offer a more economic solution compared to conventional buildings in the long run. The main reason for this is the savings from energy use.
- Green buildings are capable of increasing the asset value by 7%.
- The materials used for sustainable building construction have a longer time span and can also reduce the maintenance requirements through the collaboration of architects and engineers.
- Green buildings increase living standards as they provide better natural light and thermal performance. In fact, it is reported a significant increase in occupant health in green buildings.
- The indoor air quality increases as green buildings are designed with ventilation solutions, and this enhances employee productivity and the working environment in the offices.
- The increase of asset value and indoor life standards can also contribute to the local GDP.
- A sustainable building respects the aesthetics and architectural quality, the buildings can look remarkably different, more resilient, and greener.
For the above-mentioned reasons, countries are now working to change the perspective of the construction field to provide sustainable solutions. Not only new buildings are constructed with these solutions but also the conventional buildings are going through a process of renovation to make sure we only produce the energy we really need. In fact, it is necessary to encourage designers and stakeholders not only to create a more resilient approach but also to build a healthier society.